One of the best ways to protect yourself in the event of a divorce is creating a prenuptial agreement before entering into a marriage contract. A prenup is a legal document that can determine certain aspects of a divorce, such as the distribution of marital assets, if the marriage ever ends. A prenup can give you peace of mind as you head to the altar.
If you wish to discuss a prenup with an experienced Mountain View prenuptial agreement lawyer, contact Schoenberg Family Law Group for a consultation. We are a prominent family law firm in Santa Clara County that can help you create, review or enforce a prenup.
What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement is a legally binding contract that creates certain parameters for divorce if the couple should ever want to end their union. It is an agreement that is created before the couple gets married. A prenup can protect the rights of one or both spouses in the event of a divorce. The terms of the contract will automatically go into effect if the couple decides to dissolve their marriage. There are also postnuptial agreements, which serve the same purpose but are created and signed after the couple gets married.
What Can a Prenup Cover?
A prenuptial agreement in Mountain View can include terms for many different aspects of a divorce, most of which have to do with property and debt division. Some of the most common terms include:
- Property and asset division upon divorce
- How to distribute retirement benefits
- The management of joint accounts after divorce
- Protections from marital debt
- Requirements for carrying out an estate plan
- Rules for how an inheritance will be distributed among children
- Arrangements for putting one or the other spouse through school
- Rules for settling a dispute, such as requiring mediation/arbitration
Most couples use prenuptial agreements to resolve complicated issues before they are even considering divorce, when the couple is amicable and can make these decisions without conflict.
What Can’t a Prenup Cover?
There are many things prenuptial agreements lawfully cannot include in California. A prenuptial agreement cannot contain terms that require a spouse to:
- Produce a certain number of children
- Produce a male heir
- Maintain a certain appearance, such as weight or hair color
- Make a minimum amount of money
- Give up child custody or child support in a divorce
If an agreement contains illegal terms, these terms will not hold up in court. The courts may even void the entire prenuptial agreement if it contains unlawful terms or provisions.
Who Should Get a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement might be beneficial for you and your spouse if you have significant or high-value assets that you are bringing into the marriage. Your prenup can help protect you from California’s property division law, which divides all marital property in half – 50/50 – if your case goes to court, regardless of whether you contributed more to the marital estate than your spouse. You can divide your property in a different way by outlining your terms in a prenup.
How Do You Create a Prenup in Mountain View?
In California, a prenuptial agreement is only valid and legally enforceable if it is in writing and voluntarily signed by both parties (not under duress, coercion or fraud). The signing party must have also received complete information about the other spouse’s assets, had at least a week to review the agreement before signing and had the opportunity to be represented by a separate attorney.
Contact a Lawyer in Mountain View for Help
If you wish to have a prenuptial agreement drawn up before your marriage in Mountain View, contact a prenup attorney for professional assistance. If you make a mistake with the paperwork or California’s legal requirements, you may find that your prenup is invalid when you try to enforce it in court during a divorce. Contact Schoenberg Family Law Group for a consultation about a prenuptial agreement in Mountain View today.